Today in History:

1088 Series I Volume XLVII-I Serial 98 - Columbia Part I

Page 1088 Chapter LIX]OPERATIONS IN N. C., S. C., S. GA., AND E. FLA

March 10. A portion of Stewarts corps, under General Waithall, reported to-day. ilagoods brigade was relieved by Whitfords bri- gade, which was also placed under my command. General Bragg informed inc that he had ordered General Hoke to make a flank move- ment to our right, and directed me to co-operate with him by a strong demonstration in our front, but not to attack the main line of the Yankee earth-works. My officers had stated to me the unwillingness of the men to attack earth-works, their experience in the late campaign not being favorable to such an undertaking. This fact I had reported to General Bragg. The skirmish line was doubled and placed under charge of Captain Brewer as corps officer of the day. This line was directed to move forward at the sound of firing on our right, followed by the line of battle, except Coltart and Whitford, holding the intrenchments nearly parallel to the railroad. At the appointed signal all moved forward with alacrity, and the intrenched line of Yankee skirmishers was taken. This threw our line of battle so far forward that I called upon Colonel Coltart for 300 men to cover our left flank. They were promptly fur- nished under Major Palmer. Lieutenant-Colonel Carter, commanding Manigaults brigade, volunteered his services, and the whole command displayed great gallantry. General Walthall, commanding the frag- ments of Stewarts corps, on our right, was now seen retiring in perfect order. He reported that he had taken some earth-works, but being without support on his right and left, found it necessary to withdraw. Stovalls and Jacksons brigades, of Claytons division, numbering only 416 men, broke causelessly, leaving Pettus like a stone wall alone, sup- ported only by Coltarts skirmishers. A considerable Yankee force was visible outside of their works, and while hesitating about renew- ing the attack and attempting to capture it, I learned that iloke was retiring, after finding the Yankees strongly intrenched and getting one brigade (Kirklands) roughly handled. The fact was reported to Gen- eral Bragg, who directed our line to fall back to the intrenchments on the British road, holding, however, the captured line of skirmishers. This was effected without loss. That night we crossed the Neuse and encamped near Kinston, in order to co-operate with the forces covering Raleigh. The Yankees did not pursue us, and, in fact, my scouts reported that they fell back the same night we did. The troops, with the exceptions above given, all behaved most hand- somely. Claytons division was not with me on the 8th, but I learned from him came to ilokes support at 2 p. ut, acted well, and had the honor of taking part in a very brilliant movement. The accompanying table shows the strength of Lees corps on going into action and its loss. I have received no report from General Hagood, Colonel Whitford, or General Baker. General Baker lost considerably on the 8th, and did all that could be done to inspire his troops. I doubt not they will behave most gallantly in their next engagement, now that they have been under fire. In fact, on their march to Wests house they seemed to be in the highest spirits and ready to renew the conflict. claytons division: Total effective. Stovalls brigade, colonel Kellogg commanding 340 Jacksons brigade, colonel Gordon commanding 76 Hills division, Colonel tJoltart commanding: Maniganits brigade, Lieutenant-colonel carter commanding 285 fleas brigade, Lieutenant-Colonel Toulmin commanding 277 Stevensons division, General Pettus commanding: Pettus brigade 350 Total 1, 328

Page 1088 OPERATIONS IN N. C., S. C., S. GA., AND E. FLA